This is your first time travelling abroad – or maybe you just need a refreshment – here is a list of 20 tips you should follow or bring before your trip.
Safety and health
1. Check with your doctor and insurance company.
Double-check and make sure you have all the appropriate vaccinations and that you have refilled all the essential prescriptions. Also, ask your medical insurance provider if your policy applies abroad in case of an emergency. If this is not the case, and if you want to add additional protection, consider purchasing additional insurance.
2. Bring copies of your passport.
If your passport is stolen or lost, you want to be sure you can return home or prove your citizenship.
3. Leave a copy of your passport.
For an additional backup, leave a copy of your passport at home or with someone you trust. Consider making an electronic copy that you can also store in your email account.
4. Register with your embassy.
If there is a problem in the country, it will be easier for your government to communicate with you and keep you safe.
5. Check the currency conversion before you leave.
To discover that a Danish crown is only 19 cents… a bad surprise. Be sure to do your calculations before you travel to get an idea of the state of the conversion rate.
6. Make sure your credit card works in the country you are visiting.
European banks have almost entirely switched to more secure chip and PIN technology, and fewer companies abroad are accepting outdated magnetic stripe cards.
7. Go to a bank or ATM in the country you are visiting.
Conversion centres in or around the airport tend to be huge scams. You will not have to pay as much fee at the ATM or bank, and the conversion will be accurate.
8. Always have local money.
Not all places accept credit cards. Especially important places such as trains or buses.
9. Call your bank or credit card provider.
Sometimes banks think there may be fraud if transactions suddenly occur in Bali while you are from Jersey, and they will deactivate your card for security reasons.
10. Check the fees for entering and leaving the country.
Some countries require travellers to pay to enter or leave the country. These fees are not included in the price of your flight ticket and can vary from $25 to $200.
11. Buy tickets from the beginning for places you know you want to visit.
By buying in advance, you will be able to skip more lines, and find more targeted offers for you.
12. Obtain tourist guides.
The guides usually include maps, keywords or sentences, and give you enough detail on some sites so you don’t need to buy the leaflet on site. And download applications before you go on a trip. Avoid downloading fees from your wireless service provider and get your applications before you leave.
13. Research events that take place while you are there.
This will help you make sure you don’t miss the best events in the city – fun things like festivals, ceremonies and natural events. Also, don’t forget to research a few national dishes to try. You don’t want to leave the country without experiencing what it is known for.
14. Bring a charger adapter.
Countries have different sizes of sockets and voltages. So make sure you can recharge your IPod if you want to use it. A power strip can be a way to cheat and load multiple devices from a single adapter.
15. Check the voltage of your electronics.
In my own experience, I know that nothing is worse than having an adapter and not being able to use a hair dryer or straightener because the voltage is not high enough for this country.
16. Activate the global capabilities of your phone.
There are usually fees to do this, but they are much lower than the roaming fees you will get if you don’t.